A SUPERMARKET IN CALIFORNIA
av Allen Ginsberg
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets
under the trees with a headache self-concious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket,
dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of
husbands! Wives in the avocadoes, babies in the tomatoes!-and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?
I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the
refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas?
Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my
imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting antichokes,
possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your
beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd.)
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to shade,
lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely..
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love past blue automobiles in driveways,
home to our silent cottage?
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have
when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching
the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe?